Čičmany, Slovakia

Čičmany is not a UN heritage site but it should be.  There are wooden houses painted with different geometric designs and animal figures.  They were originally designed to ward off evil spirits.  The fact that the town mostly survived fire and the Second World War is a testament that the designs (as well as the many images of the Blessed Virgin) just may work.  I like the interplay of Pagan and Catholic.  The town is off the main road but tries to be accommodating to those of us who find it.  There is a charming plaque in several languages, in English it reads “Down part of the village was in 1977 declared to historical reserve of popular architecture, for its saving.” There are some other strange quirks.  The restaurant in the town advertises a vegetarian menu that includes “cheese dumplings with bacon” and “fried cheese with ham.”  In fact each vegetarian offering had some product derived from the pig in it.  The restaurant also has ads printed on the paper towels in the men’s room.  I have not seen this before.

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